Constable Benton Fraser, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Played by Paul Gross (Seasons 1-4)
A Canadian Mountie so stereotypically awesome that even other Mounties can't believe he's for real. In the "Pilot" movie he travels to Chicago on the trail of the killers of his father and, despite having lived his whole life in the remoter areas of Canada and being poorly suited for life in an American city, chooses to remain attached as liaison to the Canadian consulate for the next several years.
- The Ace
- Adorkable: This is a big part of Fraser's charm.
- Affectionate Nickname: Fraser is "Benny" to Ray V.
- All a Part of the Job: Fraser is baffled and uncomfortable when his heroics draw media attention. When reporters ask how he feels about having prevented a horrible disaster (in "Red, White, or Blue", referencing the events of "All the Queen's Horses"), all he can come up with is "Fine."
- Allergic to Love: Despite his obvious mutual attraction with Inspector Thatcher, he runs a mile any time it looks like something might be about to happen between them.
- His main discomfort seems to be not with the concept of romance, but with the fact that nearly every romantic prospect he encounters is taboo: Thatcher is his superior officer and therefore they wouldn't technically be permitted to date while both were still in the RCMP. He's shown to be slightly more comfortable at the prospect of a relationship if the woman in question is someone he could date while still following the rules.
- Always Gets His Man: Fraser, naturally.
- Badass Bookworm: Fraser uses his smarts to solve crimes, and he can handle himself very well in a fight.
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: In "Seeing is Believing," Fraser catches a knife thrown at him.
- Bulletproof Fashion Plate: Fraser, which drives Ray completely up the wall.
- Also, his fashion renders him bulletproof. While Fraser is injured several times in the show, he is never once injured while he is wearing his hat. This has caused the hat to be dubbed the 'Stetson of Invulnerability' by fans.
- Although his hat is not bulletproof, and he has reacted to it being damaged as if he had been shot in an actual body part
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Fraser, and it's not always just an American point of view of Canadian ways thing, either, since he has baffled the Canadians as well. Examples include his habit of licking things and talking to his dead father. Granted, the other characters don't know he's doing the latter, so he just looks like he's talking to thin air.
- By-the-Book Cop
- The Cape: Fraser, of course.
- Catchphrase/Overly Long Running Gag: In Seasons 3 and 4, he'll give the following speech Once per Episode. Increasingly, this will happen in spite of the fact that nobody prompted him, and several other characters may be trying to interrupt. At least once, several other recurring characters gave the speech for him, having had more than enough opportunities to memorize it:Fraser: I first came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of my father and, for various reasons too complex to go into at this juncture, I chose to remain, attached as liaison to the Canadian consulate.
- Character Tics: Fraser has a few, including cracking his neck and touching his ear when he's nervous, thinking, or repressing the urge to do or say something.
- Chaste Hero: Fraser can be quite naïve when it comes to sexual matters. Although it's implied he had some sort of relationship with Victoria
- Chick Magnet
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Fraser's partners frequently bemoan his spontaneous interventions in dangerous situations that he encounters, reminding him that he has no jurisdiction or they are not on duty. In "Red, White or Blue," Fraser admits that he realizes his inability to stop helping people bothers Ray, but he can't help himself. Furthermore, a heartbreaking moment occurs in Victoria's Secret, when he refuses to help someone who appeals to him directly for aid.
- The Comically Serious: Fraser understands the existence of sarcasm, and even displays the occasional flash of dry wit, but his default behaviour is still to take everything very literally.
- Dating Catwoman: For Fraser, Victoria Metcalf ("Victoria's Secret").
- Determinator: Both Fraser and Dief. As the saying goes, they always get their man. On at least one occasion, Fraser has worried that Dief will literally run his paws off rather than give up pursuit.
- Disguised in Drag: Fraser pretends to be a female high school teacher in "Some Like It Red".
- Disappeared Dad: Fraser Sr. wasn't around much in Benton's childhood because of his job as a Mountie. Interestingly enough, Benton mostly views this with regret rather than bitterness, and his dad honestly seems more bothered by it than he does.
- Dork Knight: Fraser, oh so much.
- Encyclopaedic Knowledge: Fraser knows a lot of facts of just about any subject that you can think of. Justified because his grandparents were librarians.
- Fair Cop: Fraser almost never looks less than dashingly handsome.
- The Fettered
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: Fraser would taste anything. He even licked the bottom of a boot once to figure out where the wearer had been. Ray K and Ray V were both disgusted and tried to stop him.
- Fish out of Water: Fraser had trouble adjusting to life in a bustling city after being a backwoods policeman.
- It is pointed out in the pilot that Fraser had trouble adjusting to life in a small city the one time they assigned him to work in one. If anything, he seems to adapt better to a big city for some reason.
- Friend to All Living Things: Fraser wasn't quite this bad, but he came close sometimes.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Fraser, of course.
- Honor Before Reason: Fraser. You Should Know This Already.
- "That's the last time he'll fish over the limit..."
- Ideal Hero: Fraser is basically the idealized Mountie version of a Knight In Shining Armour.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: In reality, Fraser's RCMP uniform is the Red Serge and it is nowadays only worn for special ceremonies or for publicity purposes and never for regular police duties.
- Generally averted in earlier episodes, where he would wear a less showy brown uniform whenever he wasn't specifically dolled up for guard duty or some formal occassion. It has been joked that his capabilities directly correlate with how he dresses. Civilian clothes, he's a good samaratan who helps others. Brown uniform, he's a badass cop. Red Serge? He is a full on superhero.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In the episode Bird In The Hand Fraser is able to throw a knife so precisely it plugs the barrel of a gun.
- Similarly, in Mountie On The Bounty, when a ship Fraser and Kowalski are on sails into Canadian waters, Fraser catches a tossed handgun and proceeds to prove himself an expert marksman.
- Long-Lost Relative: Fraser meets his half-sister in "Hunting Season", the penultimate episode of the final season.
- Love Martyr: Fraser let Victoria go, and almost went with her, even after all she put him through and proved herself to be a fairly terrible person.
- Mistaken for Murderer: Fraser, in "Victoria's Secret".
- Mr. Fanservice: Fraser is portrayed as being ridiculously attractive to women In-Universe (this trailer for Season 3 even states that "Women can't resist him"), and the same can be said of the character's fans in real life.
- New Old Flame: Victoria Metcalf ("Victoria's Secret").
- Nice Guy: Fraser is so darn nice all of the time that his behaviour sometimes irritates other characters.
- No Badge? No Problem!: Benton is a police officer in Canada, but the show is set in Chicago. He does frequently remind people that he is acting purely as a private citizen, but acts as if he does have police powers.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Almost everyone believes Fraser's putting on an act by being such a stereotypical Mountie in order to con people, because no one is really that honest, polite and noble. Many of the people he encounters assume that his pleasant demeanor mean he couldn't possibly be an astute detective. They're wrong. Of course, he's happy to let them keep thinking that all the same.
- And sometimes, very rarely (see "Bird in the Hand," "Odds"), he actually does let the mask slip.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: how Fraser ended up in Chicago after pissing off his entire chain of command. It is mentioned that the only other alternative was to send him to Russia, but it was acknowledged that he at least had a few friends in Chicago.
- Reverse Arm-Fold: Fraser, constantly.
- Sarcastic Confession: In "Hawk and a Handsaw", Fraser manages to get himself committed in a psych ward (intentionally—he's going undercover) simply by showing up in full dress uniform and telling the precise truth about his past.
- Sherlock Scan: It's like a mountie-superpower.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Fraser, even in the middle of a city.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Fraser is tall, dark-haired and strikingly handsome.
- Technical Pacifist: Fraser rarely used a gun, but this was because he didn't have a license for one in the US. After they crossed the border into Canada, he turned out to be a very good shot:Fraser: But right now, my friend, you're in the Dominion of Canada.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Fraser, after a hit on the head, spends a whole episode recovering his memory.
Detective Raymond Vecchio, Chicago Police Department
- Played by David Marciano (Seasons 1-2, Guest Star in Seasons 3 and 4)
- Amicable Exes: Ray has an ex-wife, Angie, although she's only seen twice. She and Ray seem to still care about each other.
- Bald of Awesome: Ray has this beginning in "North"
- Christianity Is Catholic: Justified, as RayV and his family are Italian American, and thus very likely would be Catholic.
- RayV is shown at church at least once.
- Chronically Crashed Car: Ray V's mint-green 1971 Buick Riviera, much to his aggravation.
- Cool Car: Vecchio's 1971 Buick Riviera, which kept getting blown up.
- Cowboy Cop: Ray V has shades of it occasionally. The "imminent danger" trick he pulls in Victoria's Secret comes to mind.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Improbable Parking Skills: Ray puts his 1972 Buick Riviera into a controlled skid over a large field of ice to bring it sliding to a stop immediately next to Fraser and the guest star. Both of them give him a mild What the Hell, Hero?, which he casually shrugs off.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ray Vecchio.
- New Old Flame: Irene Zuko ("Juliet is Bleeding")
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the climax of The Deal, Ray beats the crap out of Don Zuko in his own gym, and promises not to tell everybody he sees about it in return for Zuko promising no harm will come to the Shoemaker. One of Zuko's lieutenants witnesses the beatdown, evidently loses all respect for him, and in the second season episode Juliet Is Bleeding, this causes a chain of events that result in the murder of Detective Gardino, the accidental killing of Irene Zuko, and the destruction of Ray's second prized 1972 Buick Riviera.
- Put on a Bus: In Burning Down the House, due to David Marciano being unable to return to the show after it was Un-Cancelled.
- The Bus Came Back: In the two-part series finale.
- What Beautiful Eyes!!: Ray's green eyes are seen by many fans as his best feature and are often mentioned in fanfic
Detective Stanley Raymond "Ray" Kowalski, Chicago Police Department
- Played by Callum Keith Rennie (Seasons 3-4)
- Amicable Exes: With Stella, when he's not annoying her by trying to sabotage her dates/win her back/taking an opposing stance on a case.
- Blind Without 'Em: Kowalski can't fire his pistol without wearing glasses.
- Christianity Is Catholic: He has a Polish surname, and therefore could have been raised as a Catholic like Vecchio, which would be another shared characteristic that might have led his superiors to choose him for the undercover assignment.
- Cool Car: Kowalski's GTO.
- A Crack in the Ice: In the season finale.
- Embarrassing First Name: Played straight with Stanley Ray Kowalski, who shared his name with the protagonist of A Streetcar Named Desire.
- Fake American: Kowalski is portrayed by Canadian Callum Keith Rennie, and his Canadian accent is audible at times.
- Working with the Ex: His ex-wife Stella is an Assistant State's Attorney and works on a lot of criminal cases brought by the Chicago PD, which means that they're frequently thrown together at work even when they're trying to avoid one another personally.
- Played by Newman (Pilot), Lincoln (Seasons 1-2), Draco (Seasons 3-4)
- Canine Companion
- The Other Darrin: Diefenbaker was played by three different animals, the first in the pilot really was half-wolf (and noticeably so) but was thought to look too fierce so was replaced by a pure-bred Siberian Husky, who was also replaced with a lookalike after the show's hiatus.
- Savage Wolves: Averted much of the time with Diefenbaker, but played straight a time or two: when Fraser was in danger, and when he had a girlfriend he was protecting.
- Snarky Non Human Side Kick: Although a strictly non-verbal role, the reactions of the rest of the cast (principally Fraser) and good direction by the animal handler somehow manage to make him fit this trope.
- Timmy in a Well: Diefenbaker can read lips in English and Inuktitut.
Lieutenant Harding Welsh
- Played by Beau Starr (Seasons 1-4)
- Da Chief: Lieutenant Welsh, in spades.
Detective Jack Huey
- Played by Tony Craig (Seasons 1-4)
Detective Louis Gardino
- Played by Daniel Kash (Seasons 1-2)
Detective Thomas E. Dewey
- Played by Tom Melissis (Seasons 3-4)
- Played by Catherine Bruhier (Seasons 1-3)
Francesca "Frannie" Vecchio
- Played by Ramona Milano (Seasons 1-4)
Dr Mort Gustafson
- Played by Jan Rube (Seasons 3-4)
- The Coroner
- Hero of Another Story: Mort is a Czech-born coroner working with a big-city American police department, who survived internment in Auschwitz as a child, and now can see and speak to the dead. There is no way that whatever's happening to him off-screen isn't equally as interesting as Fraser's story lines.
- The Holocaust: It's eventually revealed that he survived the Nazi concentration camps as a child.
- I See Dead People: One of the few characters other than Fraser who's able to see and converse with Fraser Sr; he doesn't seem remotely perturbed by the experience, suggesting that it happens to him with regularity.
- Perky Goth: He's fascinated with death and can communicate with the spirits of dead people, yet he remains cheerful in a vague sort of way throughout all his scenes, even the one in which he reveals he was a prisoner in Auschwitz during World War II.
Assistant State Attorney Stella Kowalski
- Played by Anne Marie Loder (Seasons 3-4)
- Amicable Exes: With Ray K, intermittently.
- Bait-and-Switch: Throughout their time on the show, it seems like Ray K's main arc will play out with him eventually winning back Stella and the two remarrying. In the finale, Stella does move to Florida... with Ray V, the man her first husband was impersonating undercover. And many fans write in fanfic that they married, though the actual transcript of the episode never mentions marriage with them.
- Unfortunate Names: Her married name is the same as one of the main characters in A Streetcar Named Desire, though there's little resemblance between their temperaments. Unlike her husband, she doesn't seem to mind the association, even keeping her married name professionally once they're divorced.
- Working with the Ex: Her role with the State Attorney's office often brings her into direct professional contact with her cop ex-husband.
Sergeant Robert "Bob" Fraser
- Played by Gordon Pinsent (Seasons 1-4)
Fraser's late father, whose death in the "Pilot" movie prompts his son to travel to Chicago on the trail of his killers. Despite his obvious handicap, he's frequently on-hand to give his son the benefit of his sage advice, whether Fraser wants it or not.
- Intangible Man: Fraser Sr., though this was to some degree under his control.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: He can apparently pop up anytime and anywhere to chat with his son, and eventually moves into a Bigger on the Inside closet in the Canadian Consulate in Season 3. Despite the possibility being regularly raised that he's a figment of Fraser's imagination or a symptom of an impending breakdown, a few other characters have been able to interact with him, including The Coroner, the ghost of Vecchio's father, the criminal who killed his wife, and his long-lost illegitimate daughter.
- Spirit Advisor: Fraser Sr.
- Posthumous Character: He dies in the first scene of the pilot. Not that it holds him back much.
Inspector Margaret "Meg" Thatcher
- Played by Camilla Scott (Seasons 2-4)
Fraser's boss at the Canadian Consulate in Chicago from Season 2 onward. Thatcher is stoical, humorless, and ambitious to advance in her career, though she does have a soft spot for Fraser.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Usually around Fraser, though a couple of other attractive guys take a turn over the course of the series. Lampshaded to the point of Getting Crap Past the Radar when she inadvertently sits in a puddle of melting ice while (apparently) trying to seduce Fraser.Thatcher: Is your seat wet too, Fraser?Fraser: Ah, no, sir.
- Ice Queen: It's even an In-Series Nickname in later seasons, courtesy of Kowalski.
- Love Interest: To Fraser, intermittently. However, any progress made in their relationship is always forgotten by the next episode, or even by the end of the current episode.
- No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Though the attraction between her and Fraser seems mutual, he's uncomfortable to the point of being mortified nearly every time she comes right out and flirts with him.
- Tsundere: More coldly contemptuous than easily angered, but aside from that it's a fairly apt description of her.
Sergeant Buck Frobisher
- Played by Leslie Nielsen (Seasons 1-4)
An old friend and partner of Bob Fraser's, and often mentor to his son.
- Playing Against Type: In his first appearance, he's The Alcoholic, has a Beard of Sorrow, and has quite a dramatic story line. His later appearances are more light-hearted and comedic, in line with the type of work Leslie Nielsen was known for by that stage of his career. (Ironic, when you consider Leslie Nielsen has a whole syndrome named after him that relates to this very trope.)
Constable Renfield Turnbull
- Played by Dean McDermott (Seasons 2-4)
Another RCMP Constable employed at the Canadian Consulate in Chicago. Despite technically holding the same rank as Fraser, Turnbull is far less competent, and holds the hyper-capable Fraser in godlike awe. Fraser, meanwhile, treats him with uncharacteristically open contempt.
- Acceptable Targets: In-universe, Fraser seems to consider him one for some reason.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Constable Turnbull tends to be one of these. See also Genius Ditz.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Indicated with Turnbull. He seems dumb onscreen but he somehow passed military *paratrooper* training.
- Genius Ditz: Turnbull, while not an idiot, is not that great at his job. However, he is very good at art, cooking, trivia, and perhaps cleaning. Doesn't help that he's a Cloud Cuckoo Lander to boot.
- You Look Familiar: Dean McDermott played a tougher than average Mook in an episode of Season 1 before joining the main cast as Turnbull in Season 2.